Cowboys Show Heart

The Cowboys still don't know if they are playoff worthy. But Bill Parcells has long said his team would be in it until the end.

And he's right -- thanks to Sunday's never-say-die 24-20 comeback victory against the Carolina Panthers.

The Cowboys (9-6) now must win next Sunday against the St. Louis Rams and for the Redskins (9-6) or Panthers (10-5) to lose.

"It feels good to have a chance," receiver Keyshawn Johnson said. "If we lose here, we don't have that chance."

Yes, the Cowboys would rather be in position to the control their own destiny. But they are now just thankful to have that opportunity after being on the brink of elimination.

With less than a minute to go against the Panthers that's where the Cowboys stood, trailing 20-17.

A loss would have put them out of the playoff race and spoiled a pair of great efforts by running back Julius Jones and linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who did their best to personally deliver a victory against the Panthers.

Jones emerged from a season-long funk with the fourth-best outing ever by a Cowboys running back. He rushed 34 times for 194 yards and two touchdowns.

Ware also broke out a slump with a record-setting performance. He became the first player in team history to record three sacks and three forced fumbles in a game.

After Billy Cundiff's game-tying field goal went wide right on their final drive it all seemed for naught. But of course that was before the Panthers were flagged for running into the kicker, giving the Cowboys new life.

Three plays later, quarterback Drew Bledsoe hit receiver Terry Glenn in the corner of the end zone for a two-yard touchdown pass with 24 seconds to go.

"You can say what you want about us," Parcells said. "We're not the best team in the league but they fight hard. That took a lot of guts."

Parcells doesn't know what the future holds regarding the playoffs. But he knows his team is resilient.

"That's the way we have been playing," Parcells said. "It's just the way it is. I think this team has some spunk to it. I know we have had some ups and downs but I told you I like them and I do.

Owner Jerry Jones said it's disappointing that the Cowboys don't control their own destiny. But he's not disappointed in his team, which proved to him that the Washington game in week 15 was "an aberration."

"That game didn't reflect what this team was about," Jones said. "This to me was what this team is about. After falling flat last week and then to come here and battle back and play like they did. I am so proud of them. This feels good."

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